Nikki Haley: 'Good first week for Russia' after Biden shuts down Keystone pipeline

Nikki Haley: Biden’s first week as president is ‘good’ for Russia

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley argues President Biden is showing ‘he’s more interested in reversing everything President Trump did than being strategic in how we keep America strong going forward.’

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley argued on Wednesday that President Biden’s first week in office has proven to be “good” for Russia.

“I can tell you [ Russian President Vladimir] Putin has to be pretty ecstatic right now,” Haley told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday referring to Biden’s energy actions, which included halting the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

Biden’s administration also temporarily suspended oil and gas permitting on federal lands and waters in a series of executive orders aimed at tamping down the U.S. fossil fuel industry and combating climate change, Reuters reported.

“One of the things that bothered him [Putin] the most was how energy independent we had become,” Haley explained.

Haley also pointed out that on Thursday Biden had proposed extending the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries by five years, saying it is “something that gave Russia a lot of advantage.” The New START treaty was set to expire on Feb. 5.


The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

Russia has long proposed to extend the pact without any conditions or changes, but President Trump’s administration waited until last year to start discussions and made the extension dependent on a set of demands. The discussions stalled, and months of bargaining have failed to narrow differences.

On Friday, the Kremlin welcomed Biden’s proposal. Putin’s spokesman said that Russia stands for extending the pact and is waiting to see the details.

“It’s a good first week for Russia right now,” Hayley stressed.

Haley also argued on Wednesday that President Biden is “more interested in reversing everything President Trump did” instead of looking forward.  

The former South Carolina governor then outlined a series of questions for Biden, asking why he didn’t “sit down and talk with those governors” before halting the Keystone XL oil pipeline project and banning fracking.  

“Why aren’t you using leverage if Iran is producing nuclear weapons? Why before just jumping back into the Iran deal why aren’t you using those sanctions as leverage?” she went on to ask.

“With China, why aren’t you calling them out on the human rights issues that they have instead of jumping back into the Human Rights Council?”

Haley was referencing the potential move by President Biden to rejoin the controversial U.N. Human Rights Council.  

Haley was part of the Trump administration in 2018 when it pulled the U.S. out of the Human Rights Council. As she announced that decision, she called the council “a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias.”

Critics, of which Haley has been perhaps the most high-profile, have pointed to the council’s membership, which currently includes countries such as Cuba, China and Russia — all of whom were elected in 2020.


“This is about strategy,” Haley said on Wednesday. “This is about being smart and what Biden is showing is he’s more interested in reversing everything President Trump did than being strategic in how we keep America strong going forward.”

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall, Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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